Sewing all the way to success

2017-05-04 06:01
Xolani Magadla and Mawande Mbawuli from Old Crossroads are turning heads with their designs.

Xolani Magadla and Mawande Mbawuli from Old Crossroads are turning heads with their designs.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A duo of young designers from Nyanga are proving that perceptions aren’t always a depiction of reality.

Mawande Mbawuli and Xolani Magadla, both 27-year olds from Old Crossroads are two designers who stole the show at the Xperience Fashion Show held in Kenilworth over the weekend.

This was the second time that they wowed the judges and received a standing ovation for their cutting designs.

They have proved that one can cheat the entrapments of poverty and cut out a living.

Nyanga is an area notorious for its high murder rate in the country, what with the added scourges of crime, violence and drugs their neighbourhood is often associated with.

They also doing their utmost to disprove embedded perceptions that fashion designers are necessarily homosexuals; they just want to make clothes.

They started their fashion label XM Creations in 2012 after years of interest in the fashion industry but fearing to take the plunge.

“I have always liked fashion and clothes but because of that old stereotype that you are gay if you sew clothes, I shied away.

My love for clothing and textile was rekindled when I met Xolani and we decided to start the venture,” said Mbawuli.

Magadla also a resident in Crossroads said that his mother was a seamstress and this candled his interest in clothing.

“But my mother wouldn’t let children play with her beloved sewing machine, so I decided to go to school to learn sewing,” he said.

He and Mbawuli went to study sewing at Learn to Earn in Khayelitsha to get the basics before starting their own business.

“After that we started buying clothes from street sellers, took them apart and restyled them. We were learning about clothing design and even started with school tracksuits which were quite easy to make.

In 2014 when we were finally confident in our design skills, we started approaching matriculants in order to design their matric outfits,” said Mbawuli.

He said that this soon led to more clients knocking on their door as a result of a word of mouth campaign.

They were now operating a fully fledged design house from Mbawuli’s RDP home.

However this attracted unwanted attention from local rogues.

“Unfortunately when people see that you are busy with something they always assume that you have lots of money...We were robbed in our own home and had to beef security by installing burglar gates,” he recalls.

However, this did not dampen their spirits, as they continued to make a fashion statements with their designs.

Magadla said that it was overwhelming to see people appreciate their work and that they will continue to make clothes despite challenges.

“There many challenges such as working in craped spaces, sometimes clients are scared of coming to our area for fittings, fearing crime. We often have to go to town to do fittings so our immediate plan is to get a working space that is accessible,” he said.

Nevertheless, some people do come in for alterations and the models they use are from the area.

“Our greatest joy is taking locals, so its not just us who benefit, but others from the neighbourhood,” said Mbawuli.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/News
 

Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?

 
 

Paws

How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.